Lampang: Northern Thailand's next big star?

Thailand has had a long relationship with tourism, but now it's ready to take the next step.
It feels it's time that tourists got to know it a little better.
That, anyway, is the basic idea behind "Discover Thainess," a newly launched marketing campaign that includes the promotion of 12 of the country's lesser visited areas.
"We're introducing new destinations because 60-70% of Thailand's tourists are repeat visitors," says Thai Tourism Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul.
"In order for them to return and hopefully stay longer and spend more we believe that we need to offer more activities and destinations."

Among the 12 being promoted is the ancient city of Lampang, located about an hour's drive from Chiang Mai.
We can see why.

Thai photographer Sirichai Asawalapsakul has lived in Lampang for more than 15 years and in that time has documented life in the city and its surrounding areas -- the province is also named Lampang -- which he shares in this gallery.